No middle ground on Chávez legacy

John Minns posted this from Buenos Aires

In death, Hugo Chávez has as much capacity to stir passions as in life. On the first day after the death the press in Argentina, as in much of Latin America, mostly adopted a respectful tone, often noting “problems” and “differences”, but reserving harsher criticism. Within 24 hours, the divisions over the appropriate economic and political model for Latin America – debates at  which Venezuela under Chávez was at the heart – re-emerged.
The conservative press – in Argentina led by the viciously anti-government Clarin – returned to strong criticism of his record – especically on questions of democracy. This is not surprising since it has been warning constantly that Argentina under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is actually becoming Venezuela and headed towards dictatorship.
The pro-government press – such as the completely uncritical Página 12 – has concentrated on the positive achievements of Chávez in reducing poverty and improving education for the masses.
The government itself declared three days of national mourning.
Professor Steve Ellner writing from Venezuela will be an ANCLAS Visiting Fellow in Second Semester of 2013. In this article he has produced a balanced summary of the Chávez years and the likely possibilities for Venezuela after his passing.
The website: http://www.progressive.org/wake-of-chavez-death#.UTjEb5faJ7o.mailto

John Minns

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